DeGeneres, who also announced the news on her talk show, will join the three judges of the FOX series — Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi — beginning in January 2010. Abdul left the talk show earlier this summer due to contract disputes. Among those who will be guest judges during the early rounds of this year's competition are Neil Patrick Harris and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth.
"American Idol" has launched the careers of numerous artists who have appeared on Broadway including Fantasia, Diana DeGarmo, Tamyra Gray, Constantine Maroulis, Frenchie Davis, Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks.
For more information about "American Idol," visit www.americanidol.com.